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Paul Joseph Watson

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Paul Joseph Watson
Paul Watson on Louder with Crowder.png
Watson in 2018
Personal information
Born 1981/1982 (age 36–37)[1]
Sheffield, Yorkshire, England
Residence London, England[2]
Occupation Writer, editor, YouTube personality
YouTube information
Also known as PJW, Paul J. Watson, PropagandaMatrix (formerly), Anything Goes
Channel
Years active 2011–present (as a YouTuber)
Genre Political criticism
Conspiracy theories
American Conservatism
Subscribers 1.38 million
Total views 318.8 million
Associated acts
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2015
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers 2017
Subscriber and view counts updated as of 14 September 2018.

Paul Joseph Watson is an English YouTube personality, radio host, writer and conspiracy theorist.[3][4][5][6] He has been described as 'alt-right' by multiple sources,[6][7][8][9] though he does not associate himself with that label.[10]

Watson's career emerged through his work for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, for whose website he promoted fake news and conspiracy theories such as the claim that 9/11 was an inside job, the Chemtrail conspiracy theory, the New World Order and the Illuminati. After achieving a significant following, both he and Jones adjusted their focus. Now their commentary is largely directed to criticism of feminism, Islam, and left-wing politics.[11]

He is the editor-at-large of InfoWars.com, a publication that promotes conspiracy theories and fake news about American and international politics, and a contributor to Infowars' talk radio programme The Alex Jones Show, where he occasionally either hosts or co-hosts. Watson has been working on Infowars.com since October 2002.[12] As of August 2017, he has over one million subscribers on his political YouTube channel.[13]

Political stance

Watson described his formative moment as when, at the age of 18, he watched The Secret Rulers of the World, a documentary in which journalist Jon Ronson accompanied Alex Jones in infiltrating Bohemian Grove, a location where some conspiracy theorists believe that global elites plot the New World Order.

Watson, along with Jones and InfoWars as a whole, has shifted from mainly commenting on conspiracy theories such as chemtrails, the New World Order and the Illuminati, to increasingly commenting against feminism, Islam, and left-wing politics.[11] Watson has been described as a member of "the new far-right" by The New York Times, who wrote in August 2017 that his "videos are straightforward nativist polemics, with a particular focus on Europe" and also noted his opposition to modernist architecture and modern art.[14] Iman Abou Atta, the director of the anti-Islamophobia group Tell MAMA, has said that "Paul Joseph Watson has become 'the' nexus for anti-Muslim accounts that we have mapped...He has become an influencer in promoting information—much of it bizarre and untrue—which has been regurgitated by anti-Muslim and anti-migrant accounts time and time again."[15]

Watson previously described himself as a libertarian, and supported Ron Paul in the 2012 U.S. presidential election. In a 2016 tweet, he said he no longer considered himself a libertarian because Gary Johnson "made the term an embarrassment."[16] Watson has also referred to himself as a conservative, and he considers modern day conservatism to be a counter-cultural movement.[17] In a post to Facebook in November 2016, Watson differentiated between being a member of the "New Right," which he considers to be distinct from the alt-right. He claims that the alt-right "likes to fester in dark corners of sub-reddits and obsess about Jews, racial superiority and Adolf Hitler."[10] He and Mike Cernovich have feuded with figures such as Richard B. Spencer and David Duke who see white nationalism as necessary for the alt-right; the more nationalist part of the movement refers to the former as alt-lite.[18]

Although he endorsed Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, Watson declared in a tweet on 6 April 2017 he was "officially OFF the Trump train" following the president's decision to launch missile strikes on Syria in response to a gas attack several days earlier, believing Trump had reneged on his promise to not intervene in Syria. After a decrease in Twitter followers occurred, he denied he had "turned on Trump," saying he was "off the Trump train in terms of Syria."[19] He declared in a separate tweet he would shift his focus on ensuring French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen of the National Front would be elected in the 2017 election, in which she was ultimately defeated.[20]

In July 2018 Watson signed "The Non-Feminist Declaration",[21] which includes the phrase "Given the extent of feminist entrenchment in institutions, we recognize that we are embarking on a project that may last for decades, but we shall not waver in our determination to roll back feminist influence over state and other institutions."[22]

In the media

Watson pictured with his boss Alex Jones

In 2016, he was an early proponent of the allegations that Hillary Clinton suffers from numerous serious medical conditions. Watson's part in the manufacture and popularization of the rumour was covered in the mainstream media as part of a discussion of the role of rumour and conspiracy theory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.[23][3][24]

In February 2017, he offered via Twitter to pay any journalist who thinks Sweden is safe to visit the country and stay in the "crime ridden migrant suburbs" of Malmö.[6][25] Many journalists took him up on the offer,[26][25] and Watson chose New York journalist and videographer Tim Pool, who was already planning a similar investigation.[27] Watson provided $2,000 USD to Pool for the trip.[27][25] Tim Pool also ran a fundraiser to fund an investigation into other 'no-go zones' in other areas of Sweden and Europe.[27]

Views

Christianity

Watson supports Christian holidays. He has accused Tesco of "erasing" Christmas from their stores. He labelled the supermarket retailer as "truly pathetic" and implied they were participating in the so-called war on Christmas.[28] He has criticised Google for not celebrating Easter Sunday with a Google Doodle.[29]

Immigration

Watson is anti-immigration.[30][31] He has claimed that "Malmo is known as ‘Sweden’s Chicago’" due to mass immigration into Nordic countries.[32] In 2017 interview with Westmonster, Watson claimed that European culture was under threat due to demographic change brought about by mass immigration. He stated that "the terrorism stuff is tragic and horrendous, what concerns me more is the day to day grind, the cultural changes. The numbers demographically they’ve imported, this is only going to get worse."[33]

Islam

Watson is anti-Islam.[30][34][35] He has labelled Muslim culture as "horrific" and declared that it produces mass rape, "Islamic ghettos" and the destruction of Western culture.[31] Watson has said that the western world needs "Islam control" rather than gun control,[36] and has stated that there is "violent oppression of gays and Christians in the Middle East".[37] In August 2017, he claimed that YouTube had blocked monetisation on all his videos about Islam.[38]

Race and ethnicity

Watson has criticised racial tokenism.[39] In 2017, he attacked the BBC for "portraying Roman Britain as ethnically diverse", after the broadcaster included a black Roman centurion in an educational cartoon.[40][41] Watson stated it was an attempt "to re-write history to pretend Britain always had mass immigration",[42] adding that between 43-410 AD "Britain was (at least) 97% white".[43]

Personal life

In a November 2016 interview with The Tab, he described his adolescence as "not particularly conventional", saying that he exercised for three hours each day and abstained from alcohol.[44]

On 16 June 2018, Watson announced that he had joined the UK Independence Party along with Mark Meechan and Carl Benjamin.[45][46][47]

References

  1. ^ Macbain, Hamish (1 March 2017). "Are these the faces of London's young 'alt-right'?". Evening standard magazine. 
  2. ^ Hamill, Jasper (1 December 2017). "Right-wing YouTuber Paul Joseph Watson says video site is 'censoring' him and slams its reporting system as 'broken'". Metro. Retrieved 6 August 2018. Paul Joseph Watson is editor-at-large of Infowars, an American alternative news site, and achieved global fame by producing YouTube videos from his flat in London. 
  3. ^ a b Cheadle, Harry (26 August 2016). "How Conspiracy Theories About Hillary Clinton's Health Went Mainstream". Vice. British conspiracy theorist Paul Joseph Watson 
  4. ^ Mark Townsend (11 February 2017). "Britain's extremist bloggers helping the 'alt-right' go global, report finds". The Guardian. London-based Paul Watson, described as "editor, staff writer" for the conspiracy website InfoWars ... is named as a central disseminator of the conspiracy theory concerning Hillary Clinton having debilitating health issues ... During a series of unashamedly conspiratorial videos that were viewed millions of times, Watson, originally from Sheffield, suggested Clinton might have had syphilis, brain damage and Parkinson's disease as well as alleging she was a drug abuser. 
  5. ^ David Weigel (28 August 2017). "The alt-right's take on Clinton's speech: Botched, but legitimizing". Washington Post. For the alt-right and its allies ... the speech helped elevate a fringe. In videos, Jones and his colleagues at InfoWars portrayed her as a sickly, doddering figure of desperation. ... InfoWars contributor Paul Joseph Watson... 
  6. ^ a b c "Alt-right editor challenges journalists to visit Sweden". BBC News. 21 February 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2017. Paul Joseph Watson, the UK-based editor of far-right conspiracy website Infowars 
  7. ^ "Alt-right commentator gets 'schooled' by historian over diversity in Roman Britain". The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 August 2017. 
  8. ^ "The alt-right's views of Trump are getting kind of complicated after his Syria strike". 10 April 2017. Retrieved 20 August 2017. 
  9. ^ "This Alt-Right Blogger Said Sweden Is Crime-Ridden And Now People Are Trolling Him With Memes". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 20 August 2017. 
  10. ^ a b Pearce, Matt. "The 'alt-right' splinters as supporters and critics agree it was white supremacy all along". 
  11. ^ a b Wilson, Jason (24 May 2017). "How rightwing pundits are reacting to the Manchester attack". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 June 2017. Paul Joseph Watson, Alex Jones's British mini-me, has followed the same broad path that the rest of the organization has. He was never on the left, of course, but over time his commentary has focused less and less on the Illuminati and chemtrails, and more and more on pushing a stridently anti-Muslim, anti-feminist and anti-left message. 
  12. ^ Infowars’ Paul Joseph Watson can’t get anything right Salon
  13. ^ Moser, Bob (21 August 2017). "How YouTube Became the Worldwide Leader in White Supremacy". New Republic. Retrieved 23 August 2017. 
  14. ^ Herrman, John (3 August 2017). "For the New Far Right, YouTube Has Become the New Talk Radio". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 3 August 2017. 
  15. ^ Hayden, Michael Edison (4 January 2018). "Keith Ellison's 'Antifa' Tweet Spurs Anti-Muslim and Racist Backlash". Newsweek. Retrieved 14 January 2018. 
  16. ^ Lynch, Conor (23 December 2016). "Donald Trump and the libertarians: Why have so many people who claim to love freedom embraced a strongman?". Salon. 
  17. ^ Walter, Damien (18 February 2017). "There's a very simple reason why the alt-right is not the new counterculture". The Independent. 
  18. ^ "InfoWars' Big Alt-Right Breakup With Richard Spencer—and the KKK". The Daily Beast. 14 March 2017. Retrieved 3 June 2017. 
  19. ^ Withey, Josh (8 April 2017). "Paul Joseph Watson in humiliating U-turn after losing hundreds of followers". indy100. Retrieved 14 April 2017. 
  20. ^ Greenwood, Max (7 April 2017). "Syria strike disappoints Trump backers in media". The Hill. Retrieved 14 April 2017. 
  21. ^ "Signatories". nonfeminist18.wordpress.com. Non-Feminist 18 via WordPress. Retrieved 26 July 2018. 
  22. ^ "The Non-Feminist Declaration". nonfeminist18.wordpress.com. Non-Feminist 18 via WordPress. Retrieved 26 July 2018. 
  23. ^ Jamieson, Amber (26 August 2016). "Conspiracy central: the activists painting Clinton as a sick, terrorist-friendly killer" – via The Guardian. 
  24. ^ Collins, Ben (9 August 2016). "'Is Hillary Dying' Hoax Started by Pal of Alex Jones". 
  25. ^ a b c Roden, Lee (21 February 2017). "Far-right editor's offer to pay travel costs to 'crime-ridden Malmö' backfires as dozens accept". The Local Sweden. 
  26. ^ Bowden, George (20 February 2017). "Paul Joseph Watson's Twitter Offer For Journalist Trip To Sweden Spectacularly Backfires". Huffington Post. 
  27. ^ a b c Bowden, George (21 February 2017). "Paul Joseph Watson Comes Good On Twitter Offer To 'Investigate Malmo, Sweden, Crimes'". Huffington Post. 
  28. ^ "Threats to boycott Tesco after Muslim family features in Christmas ad". The New Yorker. 13 November 2017. 
  29. ^ "Google snubbed Easter with no doodle for 18th year in a row, Christians say". Fox News. 2 April 2017. 
  30. ^ a b "Alex Jones Is Off Social Media—but His British Infowars Sidekick Paul Joseph Watson's Accounts Are Still Live". Newsweek. 16 August 2018. 
  31. ^ a b "Alex Jones' Protegé, Paul Joseph Watson, Is About to Steal His Crackpot Crown". The Daily Beast. 22 April 2018. 
  32. ^ "The Live-Streamers Who Are Challenging Traditional Journalism". The New Yorker. 11 December 2017. 
  33. ^ "'Europe is capitulating in the face of mass migration' - Paul Joseph Watson". Westmonster. 6 September 2017. 
  34. ^ "Kanye West celebrated by right-wing conspiracy theorists over recent comments". MediaWorks New Zealand. 24 April 2018. 
  35. ^ "Alt-Right Linked Social Media Activists Welcomed As Members of Britain's UKIP". Newsweek. 25 June 2018. 
  36. ^ "Mosque-attack suspect read conspiracy site InfoWars prior to London rampage: Prosecutors". The Washington Times. 24 January 2018. 
  37. ^ "Even a top far-right conspiracy theorist says Trump's retweets of fringe British anti-Muslim videos are 'bad optics'". Business Insider. 29 November 2019. 
  38. ^ "YouTube stars that supported Donald Trump claim site is taking away their money and they'll quit". The Guardian. 11 August 2017. 
  39. ^ "Alt-right commentator gets 'schooled' by historian over diversity in Roman Britain". The Daily Telegraph. 27 July 2017. 
  40. ^ "Ancient Rome was more modern than our alt-right". The New European. 22 August 2017. 
  41. ^ "Faculty of Classics backs Mary Beard after Roman Britain diversity debate". Varsity (Cambridge). 7 August 2017. 
  42. ^ "A Cartoon's Black Star Prompts A Fight: What Did Roman Britain Look Like?". NPR. 7 August 2017. 
  43. ^ "Alt-right commentator gets shut down by historian over diversity in Roman Britain". Metro (British newspaper). 27 July 2017. 
  44. ^ Worswick, Marie-Elise (7 November 2016). "Meet the pro-Trump YouTuber from Sheffield who's impacting the U.S. Election". The Tab. 
  45. ^ James, Jordan (18 June 2018). "DANK ENDORSEMENT: Paul Joseph Watson, Count Dankula and Sargon of Akkad join UKIP to FIGHT for freedom | Politicalite | The Latest Political News". politicalite.com. Retrieved 20 June 2018. 
  46. ^ Ovenden, Olivia (6 August 2018). "UKIP Are Working With Controversial Alt-Right YouTubers To Win Over Young Voters". Esquire. Retrieved 11 August 2018. 
  47. ^ "UKIP is bouncing back in an altogether nastier form". The Economist. 19 July 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2018. 

External links